ADD2168 London Office of Data Analytics - consultancy support

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
13 November 2017
Decision by: 
Andrew Collinge, Assistant Director of Intelligence

Executive summary

This ADD seeks approval from the Assistant Director of Intelligence to procure up to £50,000 of consultancy support as part of developing a London Office of Data Analytics (LODA).
Based on the findings of the recent LODA pilot, two pieces of support will be commissioned to supplement direct input into LODA from Greater London Authority staff:
•    project development support
•    development of data sharing agreements
LODA will be a hub for the development, commissioning and implementation of data science projects aimed at addressing public services and urban challenges that are better tackled in partnership, and which may affect more than one agency.


That the Assistant Director of Intelligence approves expenditure of up to £50,000 on consultancy support as part of developing a London Office of Data Analytics.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The establishment of the London Office for Data Analytics (LODA) is an opportunity to draw together projects, ideas, initiatives, expertise and resources from across the public sector in London to answer the most important questions our city faces. The role of data and data science in informing and shaping policy is increasingly being recognised and the time is right to establish a central co-ordinating office for data discovery, exploration and application.

1.2    LODA will be a hub for the development, commissioning and implementation of data science projects aimed at addressing public services and urban challenges which are better tackled together, and which may affect more than one agency.

1.3    LODA will launch with a small, core team of existing GLA staff, supported by specialist consultancy (the subject of this ADD). In total, this will provide 2-3 full-time equivalents, to develop and deliver LODA projects in the first year.

1.4    The recent LODA pilot carried out with Nesta established that four areas of support are needed to ensure a successful Office of Data Analytics:

-    Analytics capacity
-    Technical support
-    Project development 
-    Legal advice

1.5    Analytics capacity to supplement that available within the boroughs can initially be provided ‘in kind’ by GLA Intelligence Unit staff including data scientists and analysts.

1.6    Technical support – many of the boroughs have programmes to facilitate sharing data between departments. The GLA has been developing a private twin to the London DataStore, to enable the secure storage and sharing of confidential data between London’s public organisations. Between them, these will provide the technical platform to support LODA’s initial operations

1.7    Project development – each LODA project can have a substantial lead in period while the broad topic is worked up into a more specific ‘research question’ and frontline staff and managers are engaged to ensure that action is taken on the findings. The aim would be to stagger this work so that a ‘pipeline’ of projects is available for the analysts rather than leaving long gaps between projects. 

1.8    Legal advice – the creation of data sharing agreements proved to be a major delaying factor during the LODA pilot. A secondee from LB Camden who had previously worked on linking health and social data within that borough was able to unblock some of these problems after significant work and develop what could grow into a framework for data sharing across all of London’s public sector organisations. This has subsequently been linked with the work on data sharing agreements initiated by London Fire Brigade.

1.9    Two contracts will be competitively tendered to provide additional capacity in the areas of: 

A) project development (including new data sources)

B) data sharing agreements and legal advice (including GDPR)

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The objectives and expected outcomes are set out in more detail in the ‘Operating Model for LODA’ report due to be published shortly by the GLA. 

2.2    The key objectives of the consultancy are

-    Apply the project identification, prioritisation and question refinement methodology developed during the LODA and other ODA pilots to generate a pipeline of projects that are ready for analytics / data science
-    Work with project development and team managers at the GLA and the London Boroughs to ensure that LODA activity compliments other projects rather than duplicates effort
-    Identify groups of Boroughs that wish to and are able to collaborate for each project 
-    Create a series of high-level data sharing agreements between each of the GLA family members and the 32 Boroughs (plus the City of London) that can be referred to for specific data exchanges 
-    Create a register of data sharing agreements between each of the GLA family members and the 32 Boroughs (plus the City of London) 

Equality comments

3.1.    The public-sector equality duty requires the identification and evaluation of the likely potential impacts, both Under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 (the “Equality Act”) as public authorities, the Mayor and the GLA must have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation, and to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. Protected characteristics under the Equality Act comprise age, disability, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and marriage or civil partnership status. No particular effects of this proposed decision, positive or negative, are foreseen on persons with a protected characteristic under the Equality Act.

Other considerations

4.1    This proposal has been developed to support the mayor’s commitment ‘a new London data office working to bring data from across London’s boroughs and public agencies together, and opening it up to enable quicker decision making, better services, more efficient government, and greater transparency.’

4.2    Key Risks & mitigation:

-    Risk that consultant(s) appointed will not have capacity or skills appropriate to undertake the work. This will be mitigated by procuring via a competitive process based on the GLA’s experience gained through the LODA pilot. The ITT will be written by experienced GLA staff to ensure we account for the skills and experience required
-    Risk that the Boroughs will not buy into the process. 15 of the Boroughs took part in the initial stage of the LODA pilot and there is a growing interest at all levels of these organisations that certain challenges require a multi-Borough solution
-    Risk over data breach. This will be mitigated by applying the General Data Protection Register (GDPR) requirements including the use of Privacy Impact assessments

Financial comments

The expenditure of up to £50,000 will be funded from the Executive Director of Communities and Intelligence Minor Programmes budget for 2017-18, held within the Communities and Intelligence Directorate.

Planned delivery approach and next steps



Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]

20th November 2017

Announcement [if applicable]


Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]

4th December 2017

Delivery End Date [for project proposals]

31st October 2018

Project Closure: [for project proposals]

31st October 2018

Share this page